"Be fun and don't be scared to kick ass." - Esra'a Al Shafei, Mideast Youth, Saturday Morning Keynote, BlogHer '10
Coming into this year's BlogHer conference, I couldn't help thinking how much can happen in a year. My years are always so different, and I always feel like such a different person - Is it like this for anyone else? Last year at this time, I was laid off, but financially OK. And I was on top of my world: I had a directing gig, and I was in love.
By the end of that calendar year, not only had all of that gone thud, but I was also dealing with an odd and pretty serious bout of introversion and social anxiety - a first (and hopefully a last) in this life, let me tell you. The end of 2009 and the first half of 2010 will always be a dark time in my memory. And it occurs to me that it is essentially a period of a BlogHer year.
Making today - for me, my first day back from BlogHer and also my eight-year anniversary in Los Angeles - the first day of a *New* BlogHer Year. Happy New BlogHer Year!
Now, I love New Year's resolutions, and this is the perfect time, because I've been making some major changes in myself and my life. I'm pretty happy about them, and I'm totally stealing my New BlogHer Year resolution from BlogHer '10 International Activist Scholarship Winner Esra'a Al Shafei, who completely rocks and who said the quote that opens this post:
"Be fun and don't be scared to kick ass."
Julie posted a great roundup of the community keynote, too.
Which brings me to my Top Ten Things I Loved At BlogHer '10:
- Being in the community keynote was SO great, and I was so humbled to be included in such an amazing group of bloggers. Within that experience, my favorite part was sitting backstage reading each other's posts because we couldn't hear each other on stage from back there. I was so thankful that my friend Becca and her boyfriend Cory could attend, and I was beyond honored to read between fellow geeky/nerdy bloggers Liz Henry and Sarah Kimmel. Here's Sarah and I in our matching Gap jackets, although thankfully I didn't wear mine for the keynote so we weren't twins on stage:
- The Nintendo dinner hosted by Brand About Town featured a ride through New York via rickshaw, with all the drivers dressed as Mario. As we passed a group of children in Central Park, they cried out, with put-on Italian accents, "Mario! Mario!" ADORABLE. Here I am with Average Jane:
- Speaking of Average Jane, she was on one of my favorite panels of the conference, "Little Fish in a Big Pond - Understanding, Accepting and Loving Your Small Blog" with Nora and Catherine. And generally speaking, every panel I attended this year was really good.
- Every single person who told me they liked my hair, which includes Jessica Kirkwood and Terri Holley. I've become extremely self-conscious of late about my hair, and so I really, really value hearing from people who appreciate my look.
- The Saturday morning keynote with the International Activist Blogger Scholarship Recipients. So inspiring and also the kind of thing that really puts life into perspective.
- Dancing for hours at Sparklecorn, and yes, CheeseburgHer, although I did not partake of the meat. Also, at Sparklecorn I learned an important party lesson: If you start a conga line with cardboard Obama, you're going to have to make a lot of stops for love.
- Getting a copy of my friend Suzanne Reisman's book, Off the Beaten (Subway) Track: New York City's Best Unusual Attractions, and having her sign it for my Aunt and Uncle who I visited with the next day. Suzanne also picked our spot for Saturday night dinner, Indian vegetarian restaurant Vatan, which was superfun.
- Speaking of food... The conference food at the Hilton New York was wonderful. Lots of vegetarian options, and eggs and oatmeal in the morning.
- The job lab and the 7 Learning Styles quiz from the University of Phoenix. You got to take the quiz on an iPad, which rocked (covet). I loved the design of the room and the accompanying materials, which included a bookmark for each learning style. As people took the test, they projected a summary of conference attendees' learning styles. I tied as logical and verbal, which I thought was interesting as I've really been working on my verbal skills in the past few years.
- Running into Elisa, Lisa, and Jory, all together with time for a pic. They are such an inspiration to me.
I hung out with so many cool peeps and had such a great conference! Check out my full BlogHer '10 Flickr set, which will eventually feature tags and captions. You know, it took a few years before I started taking a day off after BlogHer, but even that isn't enough time for all the follow-up!
What were some of your favorite parts of BlogHer '10? It's gotten so big! I know peeps did all sorts of things I missed.
San Diego in 2011, baby! This blogger is DRIVING next year, WOOHOO!